Rochester’s Pathways to College and Careers/Bridges to Healthcare Named Semifinalist in Harvard Awards Competition

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized Pathways to College and Careers/Bridges to Healthcare as part of the 100 programs named as Semifinalists in this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition. Rochester’s Bridges to Healthcare will compete to be named a Finalist in the competition and have the chance to be awarded the $100,000 grand prize this spring.

Bridges to Healthcare advanced from a pool of more than 500 applications from all 50 states, and was selected by the Innovations Award evaluators as examples of novel and effective action whose work has had significant impact, and who they believe can be replicated across the country and the world.

Rochester’s Pathway to College and Careers/Bridges to Healthcare is a partnership between public institutions, Rochester Community and Technical College and Hawthorne Education Center; and private partners, Workforce Development, Inc., United Way of Olmsted County, and Mayo Clinic. The goal of Bridges to Healthcare is to prepare adult learners to become a part of the highly-skilled workforce that meets the needs of SE Minnesota employers, today and in the future. To date, Bridges participants have earned more than 250 healthcare career certificates and credentials. Bridges participants have become employed as Certified Nursing Assistants, Personal Care Assistants, Health Unit Coordinators, Administrative Clinical Assistants, and Phlebotomists.

“Successful student outcomes is the shared goal of this partnership” said Michelle Pyfferoen, RCTC Dean of Career and Technical Education & Business Partnerships. “The faces of our students and their families at graduation inspires all of us to continue to find the resources to sustain this partnership model.”

The Semifinalist programs represent a cross-section of jurisdictions and policy areas, and embody one of the most diverse and sophisticated groups that have advanced to this stage in the competition’s 30-year history. They were invited to complete a supplementary application last fall, answering in-depth questions about their work, the process of creating and sustaining their programs, and how they believe they can teach others to do what they do. The Ash Center expects to announce 10 programs that will be named Finalists and be invited to Cambridge, MA to present to the Innovation Awards Program’s National Selection Committee in March, with the grand prize winners to be named in June.

“These programs demonstrate that there are no prerequisites for doing the good work of governing” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Ash Center, “small towns and massive cities, huge federal agencies and local school districts, large budgets or no budgets at all — what makes government work best is the drive to do better, and this group proves that drive can be found anywhere.”

Please visit the Government Innovators Network at http://innovations.harvard.edu for the full list of Semifinalists, and for more information regarding the Innovations in American Government Awards.

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